Last weekend, the Cypress Ranch Classics were first runner up in Jazz and Lyrical and 1st place contemporary kick in their division. Winning an award like this was a big accomplishment for the Classics “As a team it makes them really proud.” As a dance teacher, it also makes Ms. Dunn proud “lots of years of hard work paying off.”
The leader of the dance team, Rachel Dulaney, won senior solo top. “They are proud of her, it represents our team in a different way other than the 10 officer routines.” Ms. Dunn says “She is someone to show off and represent our team well.” Winning top solo in the competition “Felt really good,” Dulaney says. “I’m always striving to improve and I know that I still have a lot more to work on.” Dulaney has a lot of experience since she had been dancing for 15 years. “It kind of made me realize that all the hard work I put in throughout the years is paying off.” She explains that usually she’s really confident, but for this competition she was nervous and didn’t think she was going to win. “I’m always hoping to place or get awarded but I never expect anything.” Personally the award “Means that other people are recognizing my talent and what I love to do, and I get to be awarded for all the hard work.”
“We have been preparing since November… after football season they start doing both contests and football, and then when football is over we focus only on contests. They go about two months without a performance before they get to perform. So it’s really hard, strenuous, tedious, work to lead up to. They work really hard so injuries happen, stuff like that just gets really stressful. During a dance competition ‘smile, point your toes, straighten your legs, and don’t mess up’ is what goes through a dance teacher’s head,” Ms. Dunn says. “They are enjoying jazz the most, jazz is where they thrive this year… although I think they did well with contemporary, I had to push them a lot with that one but that one scored the highest,” Ms. Dunn says.
“We don’t always win. Every year is different, every dance is different, and every judge is different…one person’s opinion one week is very different from the next person’s opinion the next week. Our goals are not based on winning first place, our goals are to get better every week based on what our scores are. It’s not about 1st, 2nd or 3rd; its about getting better as a team every week,” Ms. Dunn says. “We did really well in the first competition, a couple hiccups but that’s what happens in the first round. And then we learn from our mistakes and we learn from where we need to grow and focus our energy from the judge’s critiques and scores and so from there we make a game plan and come out stronger the next week. I was very pleased with the team work and the energy level,” Ms. Dunn says.